Lapsang Souchong Smoky Black Tea (Yan Xun Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong)

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea Leaves
Smoke, Wood, Ash, Cedar, Menthol, Pine, Wet Wood, Toffee, Vanilla, Earth, Scotch, Leather, Plums, Sweet, Burnt, Tar, Malt, Molasses, Peanut, Tobacco, Cream, Spices, Campfire
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 6 g 30 oz / 888 ml

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115 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Not really ready to review this, just giving more of an update. My tea and my kettle set up were the last things I removed from office. I had two grocery sacks of tea – mostly samples. This morning...” Read full tasting note
  • “Backlogging from this morning: i realized I hadn’t tealogged this one today when my youngest daughter walked by and said, with great depth of feeling, “Mom, we have GOT to get some more of that...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you Teavivre for this tea sample! Ya’ll know I love me some Lapsang Souchong…Amen! (left over accent from living in Texas years ago!…long story…) When I saw everyone receiving the new...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is what I took to work today. We’re getting the outer edges of Hurricane Sandy, so the world outside is gray, cold, and very windy. The perfect day for something that smells and tastes of...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Wuyi Mountain, Fujian, China

Ingredients: Da Bai Hao (Pekoe)

Taste: smoked taste, mellow, sweet aftertaste

Brew: 2-3 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194ºF (90 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Black teas contain antioxidants, which help in the prevention of some cancers and help reduce the affects of aging that is caused by free radicals. They can also reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks due to natural chemicals that reduce cholesterol.

About Teavivre View company

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115 Tasting Notes

372 tasting notes

I received my shipment from Teavivre the other day wickedly excited of course. As I am finding with other teas there are many degrees of the lapsang…like Kevin Bacon. Which reminds me of one of the most amazing sandwiches I had from Melt in Cleveland named the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon(six kinds of bacon!). A great tie in to lapsang or Tea review ADD? You decide. I do love lapsang and I’m finding that I like the more subtle lapsangs as well. I’m starting to appreciate lapsangs that have a great black tea base as well as the smoke. This one is a little less smokey. Much like the Upton Black Dragon as opposed to the strong smokiness of Dr. Tea’s. There’s a little sweetness that comes through. I’m also detecting some nuttiness(almond) As much as I love drinking lapsang I also love cooking with it. I combined this with Man tea’s Jalapeno black and made a turkey brine and then smoked the turkey. Another great lapsang

Autumn Hearth

Now I not only want some Lapsang but I also want to go to Melt, was the 6 Degrees on the menu recently?

The DJBooth

That was a couple months ago it was one of their weekend only special. It was a well spent 16 dollars…so much bacon. Amazing like a double rainbow!

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15 tasting notes

Another knockout hit for TeaVivre! SWEET!

Before I start, thank you TeaVivre for this terrific sample!

The dry tea smells exactly like a campfire in the middle of autumn. It feels and smells like roasting hot dogs on a fire, making smores, and everything wonderful about the autumn season.

This tea is insanely good! It gives the impression of a regular tea at first sip and then envelops your tastebuds in a primal smoky flavor that lingers in your mouth well after the liquid goes down your throat. This is my first smoked tea (although a blend I had previously had a hint of Lapsang in it if I recall correctly) and I love it.

I’ve heard from many people here that Lapsang is essentially a hit or miss tea for anyone that tries it. This is without a doubt a homerun for me, a tea that I must get very soon.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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185 tasting notes


Okay, so my first experience with Lapsang, the sample I got from Upton, made me think that it (surprisingly) wasn’t going to be my cup of tea. I expected smokey, but I didn’t expect my fire alarm to go off. Okay, I kid, my fire alarm didn’t go off, but I feel like it should have.

This? Whole different story. The smoke is much lighter on this blend, which means it actually tastes like a good, quality black tea with some smokiness. The flavor here is almost indulgent, sweet, lightly malty, and just enough smoke at the end to make you think about what you’re drinking.

Congratulations, Lapsang, you have been redeemed. I’m curious as to whether the steeping parameters from Teavivre (195 instead of 205) could make that much of a difference on the smoke aspect. Maybe the Upton one is better with a slightly lower temperature? I’ll probably never know.

I’m not sure I will keep this around as a permanent tea. Both the keemun from Teavivre I want to keep around, and the Baker’s Street blend from Upton have enough of a smokey aspect that it will probably satisfy my smokey tea cravings, without keeping this one on stock. But, I will definitely pick a few samples of this up every second order or so from Teavivre, just as a special treat.

Man, I just cannot say enough about the quality of Teavivre’s teas. These are so good.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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34 tasting notes

I just got this one from TeaVivre and I was really excited about the sample package! I was surprised by the generous sizes of the samples, thank you again, TeaVivre!

I steeped this one for 1 1/2 minutes and it smelled amazing right away. I’ve never tried a Lapsang Souchong before, so it’s my first experience :) The dry leaves do smell so intense that I took a deep breath and then coughed for a minute or two! It is amazing.

When I took the first sip I didn’t feel anything, but a split second later a wild smoky taste blossomed in my mouth, but I still could feel a great deal of good black tea leaves. A really nice sour’n’sweet aftertaste is also present and gives a good strong finishing touch.

Overall, it is an amazing tea and I don’t really have the words or skills to properly describe it. It is just the most surprising tea I’v ever had and I am totally going to buy some more.

This is so far one of the

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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217 tasting notes

I thought I’d start my day by sampling this new player from Teavivre. I have no problem with black and smoky before 9 AM. I could just as easily enjoy a plate of barbecued ribs for breakfast.

When I snipped open the sample package, a wonderful smoky aroma burst forth. I set the tea maker on 195 degrees for two minutes and anxiously awaited the result.

The steeped beverage was a medium gold/orange color. A sweet smoky fragrance wafted from the glass teapot. I would love to find incense in this scent.

Even at my very first sip, the flavor was full, smoky, and slightly sweet. The black tea taste was there but it blended so well with the other attributes that it didn’t draw attention to itself. The overall sensation of this tea is like a cross between a campfire and a delicious plate of barbecued pulled pork.

The smoky flavor is well defined but not so severe that it leaves a prolonged aftertaste. It is a symphony of smoky, smooth, sweet, earthy, and delicious, with no bitterness.

This is another EXCEPTIONAL tea variety from Teavivre. I’ve tried a lot of selections from this company and they have never disappointed me.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Stoo try this with a whiskey cheese which is sweet and strong (sweeter cheese and nutty would be good but not smoked!) . Sweet unsmoked meat too! Yum!


That sounds like a great combo, Bonnie! Thanks for the tip!


Bonnie…….what about Jalepeno cheese?!?


Sure just not smoky with smoky…although this LS is delicate in a way. I think I would add a little sugar and then yes. The sweet with the spicy would be better…but that’s me. I like the counter-balance of flavors and textures.

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109 tasting notes

Free sample provided by Teavivre for review

Among the boxes of tea that rained on my house yesterday was my free sample box generously provided by TeaVivre Such a nice surprise.

I placed my first order with Teavivre in such haste that I missed out on a lot of teas that I wanted to try, so I am grateful for the free samples. As has been mentioned, each sample is in a small mylar foil type pack and all 5 fit back into one resealable foil/mylar pouch. Very nice. Teavivre has great customer service and follows up with an email to make sure that everything was okay with the package.

First up is their Lapsang. One of the misconceptions I think people have about Lapsang is that it is a strong, slap you around tea like a robust Irish Breakfast or East Frisian blend. Or maybe they think it will be spicy hot like chili peppers.

However, Lapsangs are neither of those. Good Lapsang, like this one from Teavivre, are actually rather gentle and smooth, often with some sweetness.

The dry leaves on this tea are beautiful tightly rolled strips of chocolate brown with some golden brown tips mixed in. As you would expect, their aroma is smoky and piney. Not overwhelming, but a little more subtle. Very pleasant. The brewed leaf develops a bit of a peat moss aroma-milder than some other Lapsangs. The liquor looked to be a deep amber color.

The taste is as advertised-smoky and pleasant and slightly sweet in the finish. Very tasty. If you like Lapsang, you should enjoy this tea. If you are curious about Lapsang, it’s a good tea to start with.

I’ve managed two steeps so far, and will be going for a third shortly.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

How much tea did you use?

Scott B

I used 2 teaspoons on the first steep and I added a third teaspoon for the second steep. I might just start out with 3 teaspoons next time.

Scott B

Oh, I usually put 8-10 ounces of water in my cup.


ooh, you’re braver than me. I will have to increase my leaf slightly next time!


SO , Scott-if you use 3 tsp do you do 2 or 3 shorter steeps? Bonnie is (I think ) sending me samples of a couple LS. I may try -well maybe the whole sample, & short steeps of 1.5, 2 & 3 minutes.

Scott B

Amy-You actually had a hotter temp and longer steep time on your first brew, so I am not sure how all that works out compared to the more leaf I used. However, Lapsangs don’t scare me-Pu’erhs do.

Scott-I did 2 minutes for the first steep and 2:30 for the second. Teavivre recommends 1-2 mins for 1st steep and +15-30 seconds each additional steep. I’ve just been following their recommendations for now.


It seems like Tevivre is using gongfu style steeps.

Scott B

There may be a bit of a translation issue, but I interpreted the instructions as for Western-style brewing: “2-3 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194ºF (90 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes
Infusion times: 4 – 5 times. Brewing times prolongs from 15 seconds to 30 seconds with the increasing of infusion times”

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124 tasting notes

I love the scent of this – it is umami and smokey and meaty in a great way.
This is so neat – it’s completely different from the other lapsang souchong I like. It is sweet! It has a nice astringency to it – I never really like astringency in my tea but this is nice because it balances out the sweetness.
This lapsang is a little lighter on the smokey flavor. I actually really like super dark smokey flavors in lapsang souchong, but I’m still enjoying this. I am going to try it with milk. The addition of milk brings out the sweetness – I love this as a breakfast tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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212 tasting notes

I really wanted to try this one after the lapsang I had tried from Upton. For a while, I thought that I liked smokey flavors in tea but not a tea based on the smoke. This is really good and has corrected my opinion.

When I take a sip, I think dainty and light. The smoke seems to be middle of road. It’s not super strong, but there will be no mistaking it either. This really seems to be on the sweeter side as well. I think it makes a good balance for the smoke. I can see keeping a small bit of this around for some thing different to drink. This was quite enjoyable.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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59 tasting notes

I finished off the first sample pack of this today. I decided to steep it just a bit longer and the smoky character definitely made a bit more of an appearance in the actual taste of the tea, which was interesting.

Again, I don’t imagine I will ever buy any Lapsang Souchong in bulk, but it’s nice to try it when I can, and I was really happy with this one.

Flavors: Leather, Pine

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90 tasting notes

Lapsangs have a predisposition to fishy odor. This one is true to form; in the bag, there’s definitely a pescetatious* smell. I’m a New Yorker with hard-earned Jew cred, which involved its fair share of lox and cream cheese. As a result, I can get into the mood for this tea, but if you don’t like fish, then this ain’t the brew for you. If you’re brave and try it anyway, you’ll be relieved to find that it loses most of that aroma once steeped, getting more into the coppery zone, and subsequent infusions rub it out altogether.

As far as taste goes, well, first impression is that even if the smell is muffled, we’re back to the fish. Really heavily smoked fish. Lapsangs take a certain finesse to prepare in such a way that the first infusion is pure smokey goodness without the salty friend, and this particular cup didn’t reach that ideal state. (Experienced lapsang and pu-erh drinkers, you have my envy and admiration.) But back to the tea: gotta say, it really sits in your mouth trying to convince you that it’s a piece of salmon. Want to talk about mouthfeel? Full review here:

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